The Austin Chronicle

Austin ISD Needs You (to Find the Next Superintendent)

By Richard Whittaker, July 15, 2014, 7:00am, Newsdesk

Ever since Meria Carstarphen quit as superintendent, the trustees of Austin ISD have been putting together a search process that will attract a high quality replacement and engage the community. That process starts today, when the district asks that same community: Exactly what qualities do you want from the district's next CEO?

Starting today, July 15, AISD and search firm Ray and Associates will hold three days of community meetings and open public forums at campuses around the district. These lunchtime and evening sessions, along with 200 separate meetings with stakeholders and stakeholder groups, are intended to take the pulse of the community. From that, they will come up with a candidate profile, and attempt to recruit a new boss that will reflect those community desires.

This is no simple challenge. The general mood of the district has been in favor of the nascent Community Schools movement, and opposition to the "Education Reform" agenda of privately-run charters and single sex schools pushed by Carstarphen. However, there are still more than enough loud voices and heavy-hitters who will continue to make the argument for those policies.

This is the first stage of community outreach in this superintendent search. Once the district has gone through the first round of applications and headhunting, they will present a short list of two to four finalists to the community. While the final selection will come from the board, they will be listening to that second round of input. However, since that short list will be selected using criteria established from this first three days of meetings, this opening round could be the most important part of the process.

For more on the superintendent search, read 'An Open Search for AISD Chief' from last week's issue.

All the meetings, listed below, will run 6:30-8pm.

In addition, there will be afternoon forums from noon-1:30pm on all three days at the Baker Center, 3908 Avenue B.

District residents can also give their opinion (in English, Spanish, or Vietnamese) via an online survey:

Tuesday, July 15

Bowie High School, 4103 W. Slaughter

Carver Museum & Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina

Reagan High School, 7104 Berkman

Summitt Elementary School, 12207 Brigadoon**

Travis High School, 1211 E. Oltorf*

Wednesday, July 16

Crockett High School, 5601 Manchaca Rd.

Eastside Memorial High, 1012 Arthur Stiles*

Lanier High School, 1201 Payton Gin

McCallum High School, 5600 Sunshine

Thursday, July 17

Akins High School, 10701 S. First*

Anderson High School, 8403 Mesa

Austin High School, 1715 W. Cesar Chavez

LBJ Early College High School, 7309 Lazy Creek

* Includes Spanish language presentation

** Vietnamese translation available

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